Apple Is Sold Out of iPads for Launch Day
by David Murphy
Apple's often accused of running its hype machine to new levels in advance of a product launch. This naturally makes its anonymous claims of pre-selling hundreds of thousands of its latest gizmo, the famed Apple iPad, a bit tougher to digest.
However, whoever tipped off The Wall Street Journal about the iPad's supposed pre-success seems to have been closer to the truth than fiction: According to Apple Insider, initial orders for the iPad have now consumed all of Apple's stock.
Or, in layman's terms, you simply aren't getting an iPad on launch day if you didn't preorder the device.
This shouldn't come as much of a surprise for Apple enthusiasts: The various incarnations of the iPhone suffered a similar launch day fate. So much so, in fact, that Apple itself even released an application that checked Apple stores for available stock during the launch of the iPhone 3GS. Instead of having to chug down to the store (or badger Apple's retail employees with endless repetitions of the, "do you have any" phone call), wannabe-purchasers could simply fire up a handy little online grid to check which of their local stores had various incarnations of the phone's four launch day models.If you sat around and let the preorder pass you buy, are you completely out of luck on launch day? That remains to be seen. According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog's report of a reader's conversation with an Apple store
employee, Apple might be able to increase its launch day iPad stock by ten percent. There's no additional confirmation of that fact beyond what you just read, so take it with a grain of salt.
According to Steve Jobs himself (and verified by an internal sales playbook), Best Buy will also be selling the iPad on launch day – sort of. Only Best Buy stores with integrated Apple Shops (roughly 675 of more than 1,000 stores nationwide) will have inventory on-hand, and it's unclear as to the exact quantities that might be arriving at any given store. You won't be able to order and reserve an iPad in any fashion through bestbuy.com.
As well, antsy wannabe iPad purchasers can also roll the dice and wait in line around 3 PM. at any Apple retail store: All reserved iPads that haven't been picked up by that point will be open for the masses to purchase. Otherwise, the next shipping date for the iPad, according to Apple's online store, is April 12. The 3G-friendly iPad is still on-track for a "late April" ship date.
Say it ain't so Mr. Jobs! Anyone know different?